Today he returned to that thread and added a couple of replies about what sort of changes we might see for the future of Greater Rifts. Greater Rift Changes Coming: Less RNG, No Conduit Pylons?
Grimiku: In general, we use randomness in Diablo III to increase the replayability, Greater Rifts included. At the same time, we don’t want Greater Rifts to be so random that it feels like your success is completely at the mercy of a random number generator. Ideally, the randomness within Greater Rifts should keep each Rift level feeling fresh and provide for some unexpected moments of excitement, as well as test how well a player is able to adapt to controlled amounts of unpredictability (i.e. randomness).
At the moment, though, we do feel randomness plays too heavy a role in Greater Rifts, and will be making improvements along those lines. No firm date on this, but just wanted to note that we’re on the same page. Valid feedback, and thanks!
Conduit Pylon a very good measure of power growth, No?
Pylons can be a hell of a lot of fun to encounter in game, and that’s one of the big reasons we added them to Greater Rifts.
That said, we do agree that pylons, at least in their current form, have had negative effect on Greater Rifts for the top end. Ideally, we don’t want to remove pylons from Greater Rifts, since we like the variety they provide, but we also don’t like the current situation where certain classes and builds are able to defeat a Rift level multiple ranks higher than could normally thanks to a single pylon (in this case, a Conduit Pylon).
As with other factors in Greater Rifts density, monster types, Rift Guardians, etc, finding a good balance between random vs. predictable is something we’re going to continue to iterate and improve upon for Greater Rifts, and that includes pylons too. Ultimately (as I noted in another post), randomness in Greater Rifts should create positive variety and a sense of excitement. We don’t think we’ve nailed that in all areas just yet, so we appreciate all the discussion and dialog on this topic in the meantime.
On the podcast a couple of weeks ago I threw out a remark that I’ve seen a few people quote then, so I’ll QFT myself: “It’s not really a Diablo game if you’re not being screwed by RNG.”
It can be said sarcastically whenever someone else is complaining about gambling all night without hitting a single Legendary, but it’s really just human psychology. No one makes a forum thread to celebrate when they hit six straight LGem upgrade rolls at 60%, since we all think our good luck is deserved and long overdue. But when the opposite happens, you get 10 page forum threads pushing anecdote as “broken” RNG data, all wrapped up in bright shiny tinfoil.
That said, do people really want to attempt to remove luck/RNG from the game? From Greater Rifts? We don’t want unfair or broken luck, but competitions always have variance. Every sports event has lucky bounces, missed tackles, bad referee calls, shots that miss by an inch, etc. All of those things are “luck” to some extent, especially when far more of them land on one side than on the other, but that’s why people enjoy competitions. As the cliche goes, “that’s why they play the game” and it’s the element of luck that makes actually playing/racing in Grifts something more than just comparing character sheets and declaring the higher DPS the winner.
That said, when one single element (like a Conduit Shrine) can sway outcomes so greatly, especially when leveraged by a cheat (like a HUD that works in a Grift) it goes beyond the level of “RNG makes things more fun.” So it’s probably good that Bliz is looking to smooth down the variance a bit, at least at the highest level of Grifts, where any tiny edge can make all the difference.